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How Long to Recover After Sports Injury

Recovering After a Sports Injury

No matter your sport, injuries are a common part of playing the game. Youth athletes, recreational athletes, and even weekend warriors who just want to stay in shape can experience a sports injury. From strains and sprains to more serious tears and fractures, it can be a frustrating journey, and the time for recovery can often vary dramatically.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common sports injuries and their average recovery times:

Did You Know:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 8.6 million injuries related to sports and recreation occur each year. Men and individuals between the ages of five and 24 make up more than half of these injuries.

Average Healing Times After Sports Injuries

Many factors will determine an athlete’s healing time after a sports injury. Those who are in better physical shape and have no underlying conditions will recover faster. Men and individuals between the ages of five and 24 make up more than half of these injuries.

First Degree Sprain – Days
Minor bruise or tear of the ligament with local pain. tenderness and minor swelling.

Second Degree Sprain – 4-8 weeks
Severe partial tear of the ligament resulting in pain at rest, considerable swelling, and loss of function.

Third Degree Sprain – 2-3+ months
Total rupture of the ligament resulting in severe pain, swelling, loss of joint function, and instability.

First Degree Strain – 2-3 weeks
Minor partial tear with mild to moderate pain and reduction in strength.

Second Degree Strain – 4-8 weeks
Severe partial tear of muscle or tendon with impaired function and moderate to strong pain with contraction, stretch, and palpation.

Third Degree Strain – 3-4+ months
Total rupture of tendon or muscle due to a severe overstretching or forced contraction. This type of injury often results in severe pain, loss of function, weakness, swelling, and spasms.

Did You Know:
Sprains and strains account for over 40% of all sports injuries.

Overuse Injuries – 6 weeks-6 months
Resulting from the constant repetition of certain movements, overuse injuries often cause inflammation, pain presenting as an ache, tingling, numbness, stiffness, and even popping or clicking sensations.

Fracture – 6-24 weeks
Normally a result of repetitive physical stress, stress fractures often result in swelling and pain that decreases with rest and increases with activity.

Did You Know:
The highest rate of bone fractures occurs in football and other contact sports.

Ensure a Faster Recovery After a Sports Injury

To reduce your time on the sidelines, it’s crucial to take the proper time to rehabilitate fully before rushing back into training. Some athletes feel they can play through a nagging injury, however, those nagging injuries can quickly develop into bigger problems that last much longer.

Be sure to give your body time to heal.

Can You Avoid Surgery After A Sports Injury?

It’s important to understand that a sports injury can be due to a number of factors and should be assessed to find the underlying cause. Whether that’s correcting muscle imbalances, adhering to corrective exercises and stretching, or implementing at-home therapy, our goal is to help reduce pain, overcome your sports injury, and get back to performing your best without having to worry about future injuries.

The road to recovery from a sports injury doesn’t have to be long or incomplete. At Twin Boro Sports Physical Therapy, we don’t just treat the area that hurts, we’ll help you find the cause of the injury and set goals to safely return to play. Whatever injury you face, our New Jersey sports physical therapy treatments are here to help.

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